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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Bob Jones University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Bob Jones University

The Collegian

BJU Class of 2027 set to choose societies

Leaders detail importance of decision facing freshmen
Hal Cook
Society Rush and Induction

After Society Rush officially ends Friday night, members of the Class of 2027 — Bob Jones University’s 100th graduating class — will join the societies of their choice Saturday night. Many societies are competing for the attention of recruits, but why should freshmen care which society they join? Does it really matter? According to Matthew Weathers, director of the Center for Leadership and Development—which oversees society life—the answer is yes.  

“Society creates an amazing opportunity for students to develop themselves, lead their peers, and serve their community,” Weathers said. “Through meaningful interaction with society members, students can develop God-honoring lifelong relationships and encourage one another in life and faith. There are so many ways to get involved through society, including prayer meetings, society sports, outreach ministry, fun outings, the scholastic bowl and so much more.” 

Of course, societies serve a far greater role than private clubs for students with common interests. Weathers said they have been part of the BJU tradition ever since the school was founded in 1927. Their purpose has always been to help students grow and mature as Christians and as students. The University opened in Bay County, Florida with four societies, two of which—the Sigma Lambda Delta Duskies and the William Jennings Bryan Bears—are still active today. 

Societies began to take off, however, with the move to Greenville and the end of World War II, said Adam Banks, men’s director with the Inter-Society Council (ISC), a student-led organization that assists societies. There was an enrollment spike in 1947 as soldiers returned to complete their education, he said. Many new societies were inaugurated, including the Alpha Omega Delta Lions. At one point, there were over 50 societies for men and women to join. Today there are 33. But although much has changed in nearly a century, the purpose of societies has not. 

Erin Albert, who serves as the ISC women’s director, said the purpose of societies is to help students grow and encourage each other.  

“Ultimately, societies are built kind of like community groups,” Albert said. “The people that you surround yourself with are going to be the kind of people that ultimately change who you are, and kind of shape who you are. And so that’s one of the big reasons that societies are so important, because they are developing you as a person. And if you choose a good society . . . that’s where you’re going to find a lot of growth in it.”

Society Induction at Alumni Stadium (Hal Cook)

Banks said societies also teach students how to lead and serve. 

“They’re developing their members within their societies to be better servants to their neighbors, to be good citizens,” Banks said. “They’re giving students very low-risk opportunities to be leaders. You can make mistakes in those positions … but it gives you valuable experience.” 

What should freshmen keep in mind when making their choice? Albert encouraged freshmen not to believe everything they hear, to get as much information about different societies as they can and not to give in to peer pressure when making their choice.  

“Just because your friends are joining one society doesn’t mean you’re not going to find friends in the society you choose,” Albert said. 

Banks said there are many reasons to be purposeful about choosing your society. 

“It’s more than just a group that you hang out with on Friday,” Banks said. “These are the people that you are going to grow with over the next four years. They’re going to be some of your closest friends.” 

Banks added that while choosing a society is important, you don’t have to stress out about your choice. 

“Yes, it’s a very important decision, but society is whatever you make it to be,” Banks said. “And that all depends on your involvement with the society. If your society isn’t always what you would prefer, then work to change that. … Don’t give up if your society isn’t exactly what you want it to be.” 

The Society Rush Party will be held from 8:30-11 p.m., Sept. 8, at the athletic fields. At the party, freshmen enjoy free food and games, meet society leaders, and ask questions that will help them make their final choice. Society Induction follows at 6 p.m., Sept. 9, at Alumni Stadium.

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About the Contributor
Zachary Edmondson
Zachary Edmondson, Staff Writer
Zachary Edmondson is a sophomore multimedia journalism major at Bob Jones University. The former homeschooler dreams of working in mass communication after graduation and of becoming a novelist. This is his third semester with The Collegian. He is also a staff writer for Inkwell Literary Magazine.

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